Tips on how to afford Christmas
Life changes in many ways when becoming a parent but one of the main biggie for me is the financial hit. If you go back to work then childcare is a huge chunk and if you decide to stay at home like I did then you lose that income altogether, in my personal situation we hardly get any benefits as my husband works and each month is a struggle. So with the big C on the horizon I'm sure that I'm not the only one wondering how we are going to manage?. So I've put together a few tips on how to save money around this expensive time of the year:
- Meal plan - This is a boring one but so true. Our biggest expense per month after rent is probably food. I now set a budget each week and try to stick to it. Some weeks it does go over as you need to buy toiletries etc but at least try.
- Do your food shop online - rather than going to a supermarket where you can be more tempted with offers and snacks when your hungry. I do mine online via an app on my phone and get it delivered the next day. Some of the busy delivery slots can be costly from £3.50-£7.50 per delivery and if you do your shopping once per week that can easily add up to a lot over the month. Look for delivery saver deals. I pay Tesco £3 per month and I can book deliveries anytime Monday-Thursday which is a huge saving. Some T&C's do apply so check it out.
- Check to see if you are entitled to or if you are claiming the correct benefits - Use the online government checker it pretty quick to do. Are you married? have you applied for the marriage tax break?. It's only a couple of hundred pounds over the year for us but it's there.
- Are you making full use of your staff discount? - check to see who accepts your particular discount, you might be surprised. I used to work for Asda and I remember being given a book with about 100 places listed where I could get discount. My husband works for the NHS and he can get us discount off our contract phone bill an any rare Dominos takeaway that we might have. Research into what discounts you may be entitled to. Does your work offer friends and family discount days or anything like that.
- Cash in your store points - Tesco Clubcard, Nectar, Boots, Debenhams Beauty points that you may have accrued over the past year. See if you can check quickly online if you have any points built up. Tesco usually run triple point events near Christmas which you can spend on toys or video games to help lighten the Christmas load.
- Do you have anything that you want to sell? use eBay, local Facebook groups and Depop. I used to buy expensive make up and hardly used it when I became a new mum so I managed to sell my lightly used YSL lipsticks and Charlotte Tilbuy eye palettes for a decent amount online.
- Use a cashback add on when shopping online such as Quidco.
- Search for voucher codes - If you are looking to shop at a particular online store do a google search and see if there are any active discount codes that you could use.
- Enter Competitions. I like to enter competitions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If your lucky you might win. Remember that you need to be in it to win it.
- If you have the time sign up to take surveys. The Google one for android phones is good. In return of answering questions every now and again you would get some google play credit. Some online surveys give you points to things such as Amazon gift vouchers. My husband does it and might get a £20 amazon voucher once or twice per year which isn't much but it's better than nothing.
If you have a tip to share please comment in the box below. - Jodie x www.wiganmum.com